Hunstanton retirement flats plan unveiled

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Developers have unveiled their plans for more than 50 new assisted living retirement flats in Hunstanton.

Dozens of residents attended a public exhibition of McCarthy and Stone’s proposals for the Eastlands House site in Westgate, which is currently occupied by Swains, on Thursday.

Company managers said they were “delighted” by the turnout and what they say was a generally positive response to the proposals.

Regional managing director Mark Wright said: “We’ll be closely examining all the feedback we receive from the local community before submitting a planning application.”

Some visitors voiced concerns over the potential impact on the area’s existing infrastructure, particularly GP services and sewerage systems which were described as “inadequate.”

Others argued that the ongoing discussions over devolution for Norfolk alongside Suffolk and Cambridgeshire could open up new opportunities for businesses to expand in the town, making the Swains site ideal for such growth.

But Stephen Kent said he had never felt the site was suitable for industrial usage and that turning it into a development for elderly living was preferable.

The developer has already agreed a deal to purchase the site from Swains.

And Mr Kent said: “If McCarthy & Stone feel there is more capacity required for this type of accommodation, then the risk is theirs.”

David Jones added: “As Hunstanton continues to grow, it is attracting more and more elderly people who come to enjoy their retirement close to the lovely north Norfolk coast.

“It is essential, therefore, that suitable housing is provided for people in their later years.”

Mr Wright added: “This development would help meet a local, and growing, housing need in the area.

“Increasing the housing choice for residents in later life also releases family-sized housing back into local markets, which helps to stimulate the housing chain and enable young families and first time buyers to have a better opportunity within the housing market.”

More details about the scheme can be found at www.mccarthyandstone-consultation.co.uk/hunstanton.